In an America where civilization has collapsed, a young man named Hull Tarvish sets out to see the world -- and to fight the rising power of Joaquin Smith's empire. (Prequel to The Black Flame.)
Weinbaum's first published story, "A Martian Odyssey", changed science fiction forever. He died of throat cancer 15 months later, in 1935. However, stories he'd written before being published continued to come out for years after he died; so he continued to exert influence on the field after death.
This early amateur story (first published by the Milwaukee Fictioneers in 1936) is obviously influenced strongly by Benet's post-civilization tale, "By the Rivers of Babylon" and by others in that tradition. However, Weinbaum manages to find a take that's all his own, and that still holds up today. It's also one of the few Golden Age science fiction stories that's not set in Chicago, the East Coast, or the West Coast -- perhaps a reflection of Weinbaum's birth in Kentucky, many of whose residents moved to the Ozarks during the twenties and thirties.
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